“Like” The Chronicles of Rico facebook page, for I am thinking about not posting these stories on my personal facebook account anymore. Haven’t made up my mind. So if you have any desire to keep up with these, join the Chronicles of Rico facebook page that can be located at the bottom of this page or the sidebar, for that’s where these stories may be exclusively posted in the future.
Although I’m CONSIDERING a more private route with future entries, you should still feel free to hit the “F-share” button if you like the post. Much appreciated if you do. When people do that, it makes my traffic sky-rocket.
“Blinded By the Light, Wake Up Like a Douche, I’m Rolling Over in the Night”
Has there ever been a song that you had heard from a very young age, and a couple decades later, you discover that the song had totally different lyrics than what you thought they were? During those couple decades where you had the lyrics mixed up, did you repeatedly sing along to that song whenever it came on the radio, blissfully unaware that you were doing so using incorrect lyrics? I’ve experienced this with a couple songs, but the one that sticks out the most for me, is “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.
I’m sure you know this song. The chorus of the song goes, “blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.” Well, for approximately 20 years, I thought the lyrics to the song were, “blinded by the light, wake up like a douche, I’m rolling over in the night.”
Not only was I incorrect about the lyrics of that song for roughly 20 years, but I was also incorrect about the band who sang the song. For some reason, I always thought the band, Supertramp, sang that song. In fact, I was under the impression that Supertramp was a one-hit wonder band, and “Blinded by the Light” was their one hit. Boy did I ever have that discombobulated.
I was floored one night when my fiancée, Krystal and I were watching that show, “Don’t Forget the Lyrics,” hosted by the World’s most mouth-breathingest mouth-breather of all time, Sugar Ray… or Mark McGrath as he seems to prefer to be called.
So one night, we were watching that show and Sugar Ray announced that one of the contestants would be singing, “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. I immediately began arguing with ol’Sugar Ray, who couldn’t hear me because he was on the television prancing around like a jackass. I was like, “yo, what! You’re a window-licker, Sugar Ray!!! That song is by Supertramp!” The fact that I was wrong about this was rare for I am normally a reliable, walking, eating, sleeping, breathing, operating cesspool of accurate useless information processing.
Krystal was turned on by my outburst. I think I may have gotten laid that night. If it’s something that turns Krystal on about me, it’s my passion for trivia questions and knowledge of useless information. Just kidding… to be honest, I think it annoys her…
Anyways, I spent a couple minutes wigging out to a very disinterested Krystal who despite not caring about what I was wigging out about was nice enough to listen to my rant anyways. I thought for sure Sugar Ray had biffed who sang that song. I stewed about this for a few more seconds when suddenly, I was sidetracked when the contestant began singing the song. This was the moment where I discovered I had been wrong about the lyrics to that song for 20 years. On that show, the screen will show the viewers the correct lyrics on the bottom of the screen while the contestants attempt to sing them correctly. The lyrics I read on the screen were not at all consistent with what I thought they were.
I was in shock. What I thought the lyrics to that song were had basically been permanently etched in my brain by that point…I knew instantly that it was going to be extremely difficult to get used to the real lyrics.
So I thought the lyrics were, “blinded by the light, wake up like a douche, I’m rolling over in the night” for approximately 2 decades. For the first 10 or so years that I was familiar with this song and used the incorrect lyrics while singing along to it, I didn’t know what a douche was. To me, a douche was a complete idiot, which in the context that it is usually used, that’s not inaccurate.
With that said, for many years, I thought this guy wrote a song about waking up in the morning like some idiot douche (which didn’t make much sense to me because I never really associated idiot douches with people who simply wake up) and the sun comes through the window and is so bright that it blinds him. And before this all took place, this person was tossing and turning and rolling over while sleeping in the night.
I didn’t think the lyrics to the song made much sense, but there are many songs that don’t make sense, so I just sung along to it anyways and assumed whoever the lyricist was for Supertramp, was not the shiniest corn kernel in the turd when it came to writing lyrics.
The song, as stupid as I thought the lyrics were, was inspiring to me at times. This was especially true when I was supposed to wake up in the morning, but didn’t want to. I remember a few times, waking up with light shining in my eyes, blinding me. That song would pop in my head and I would ultimately decide that I wasn’t waking up. I’d justify my decision to not wake up because according to Supertramp, only douches wake up and since I was tired and didn’t want to drag my ass out of bed, I agreed with them. I’d think to myself, “yeah…only DOUCHES wake up. I’m not going to wake up like a DOUCHE.” So I would roll over and pretend it was still night to fulfill the “I’m rolling over in the night” lyric.
The word, “douche.”
It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I learned what a douche and its vulgar partner in crime, the douchebag actually are. This made things even more confusing. To my understanding (correct me if I’m wrong), a douche is primarily affiliated with a woman cleansing her vagina in order to feel fresher, to rid the vagina of foul odors and to rid the vagina of menstrual blood. The douchebag is evidently a piece of equipment used in douching. To be more specific, it is a bag that holds the fluid used in douching. When I found this out, it was a total mind-blow. As a young teenager, I wasn’t exactly the most sexually educated kid. I was pretty clueless about everything and being the oldest of 4 brothers, I never had an older brother to fill me in. Prior to learning about douching and the function of douchebags, I had no clue that vaginas bled or had tendencies to develop foul odors. I wasn’t thrilled when I learned this. It kind of put a damper on my perception of vaginas at the time… My perception at that time of what a vagina was, was that it was just a ball of hair between a woman’s legs with no penis…which I thought was great because I always hated every penis that wasn’t my own. I saw some of these vaginas (bushes) when I’d rack up the courage to sneak out of my room and watch Skinemax in the living room at 3 in the morning. That was my intro to vaginas….. I had no inclination whatsoever that they bled, could smell and sometimes needed to be douched.
Not to mention, after learning this, I couldn’t believe that a song with that word became so popular and continued to be popular for decades like that song. I was officially confused and continued to be confused every time this song came on the radio for another 14-15 years until I finally learned the actual lyrics.
And to be honest, after I learned the actual lyrics to that song, my confusion wasn’t alleviated at all. The lyrics still don’t make a bit of sense to me. And it’s mostly because of the word, “deuce.” “Blinded by the light, revv’d up like a deuce, another runner in the night.” Ok…I’m only aware of a couple uses of the word, “deuce.” I am not a big card player, but I have been around people playing cards enough to where I know a deuce is a 2 card. Or at least I think it is. I know people play this game where they say, “deuces wild,” and I believe that means that the 2’s are the wild cards…whatever that means. But deuce cards don’t get revv’d up. Revv’d up means like, a gas pedal or throttle is pushed on an automobile, right?
The only other meaning of “deuce” that I’m aware of makes a tad more sense than the deuce card. One of my roommates in college referred to every shit that he took as a “deuce.” Every time he had to take a shit, he’d announce to everyone, “I’ll be right back. I have to take a deuce!” To this day, he is the only person I know of who refers to “taking a shit” as “dropping a deuce.” I’m not sure if this was just one of his personal sayings or if it is a saying that is common with certain people. However, if this is what “deuce” means to Manfred Mann, then I’m assuming that when he takes a shit, it sounds like an engine is being revv’d up.
So when, where and how did I get all of this mixed up? How did I know of the word, “douche” at such a young age in the first place? I thought about it quite a bit, and everything seems to trace back to my dad. Those of you who have been regular readers of my blog for a long time are very familiar with my dad by now.
Now, I had probably heard “Blinded by the Light,” several times, beginning the day I was born, but the first time I actually remember hearing the song was when I was seven or eight years old. I was with my dad and we were on our way home from wrestling practice. That song came on and my dad was digging it. He cranked up the volume and began singing along to it. When my dad sang this song, with extreme enthusiasm (he was into it), it sounded to me like he was singing loudly, “BLINDED BY THE LIGHT!!! WAKE UP LIKE A DOUCHE, I’M ROLLING OVER IN THE NIGHT!” Heck, he may have actually been singing it that way. He may have been confused as to what the lyrics were also. It’s doubtful though, I probably misunderstood him.
Hearing the word, “douche” spill out of my dad’s mouth was not an uncommon occurrence and since I had no idea what a douche was until I was a teenager, I never thought too much of it. As a youngster, I had absolutely no idea that “douche” was considered a bad word and basically thought it was synonymous with “idiot” or “moron.” I used the word, “douche” freely as I pleased for it was not on my parents’ list of “bad words.” In my family, the words that you absolutely could not use unless you wanted your ass to be struck and stung by a fly swatter were: The Lord’s name in vain, shit, fuck, ass, damn, hell, the “N” word, piss and bitch. I am sure, there are others they would have not approved of, but when I asked them to tell me what all the bad words were, those were the ones that were consistently mentioned. And I took precise note of it. Those words were never to be used by my brother and I. My mom (very rarely) and dad could use them, especially if they were pissed off, ranting or drunk, but my brother and I were not allowed to use those words, regardless of the context or circumstances.
My family never, ever used the N-word. My family despises that word. However, Dad can spew flames out of his mouth with the other bad words if he is on a big enough roll.
So growing up, I probably said the word, “douche” in front of anyone, including my friends, family, teachers, Sunday school teachers, acquaintances, literally thousands of times because I didn’t know there was anything wrong with it. I never even thought twice about saying it. If I were in class and one of my friends playfully called me a harmless name like dork, nerd, etc., I would playfully snap right back at them by saying, “up yours, douchebag” (I had no idea what “up yours” implied either), in front of my teachers. If I felt like it, I would call anyone a douchebag.
I used to play basketball with my grandpa all the way until he had his first heart attack when I was 13 years old. If the basketball bounced away from us and I ran to retrieve it, it wouldn’t be uncommon for my grandpa to jokingly say to me, “hurry up, slow-poke.” It is very possible that on many occasions, I playfully snapped back with, “oh, be quiet, douchebag!” Can you believe that?!?! I’ll reiterate: From the ages of 6-13 or so, it is very likely that I called my beloved grandpa a douchebag on several occasions due to being totally unaware of how inappropriate it was. Makes me wonder if my grandpa even knew what a douche was.
What gets me is that I know I used that word thousands of times in front of people, and presumably unknowingly created many painfully awkward situations by doing so, but no one ever confronted me about it and/or told me it wasn’t cool. It makes me think of how many times I said that when I was younger, and the teacher or whoever heard it sat there speechless, thinking to themselves, “did that 7 year old Swafford boy really just call me a douchebag? Did that really just happen?”
Yes, I’m afraid it did.
And I SHOULD have caught on to the fact that it wasn’t necessarily an overly pleasant word, for my dad usually whipped that word out of his personal word-bank in situations that weren’t so pleasant for him. I should have been able to connect the dots.
When my dad was pissed off at someone, or was talking about someone who he had a low opinion of at the time, the word, “douche” or “douchebag” were common labels my dad used for them. In fact, a large percentage of the terms Dad generally whipped out from his name-calling arsenal began with the letter, “d.” He frequently referred to people as; dumbass, dunce, dip-stick, dip-shit, dirt-bag, dirt-ball, dickhead, dick, doofus, doofus-brains, dork, dill-weed, dingleberry, dingle-wad, etc. Sometimes he would even combine these “d” words. For example, if dad thought my brother, Justin and I were being silly, he’d refer to us as “dingleberries.” If he thought we were being extra, extra silly, he’d combine a couple “dingle” words and refer to us as dingleberry dingle-wads. Or if someone had him really, really pissed off, it wouldn’t be uncommon for him to get really creative and combine a bunch of them to accurately depict his disgust with them. For example, my dad always used to become real butt-hurt if someone failed to wave at him while driving on the road. He’d sometimes take it personal and say, “that douchebag, dick-headed, doofus, dirtball, dumbass dick-wad didn’t wave back at me when I waved at him on the road.”
Dingleberry… I didn’t know what that word meant until I was a teenager, either. Not sure what a dingleberry-dingle-wad is. I assume it’s a group of dingleberries clustered together.
As mentioned, “douche” and “douchebag” were on the more serious side of his arsenal. When a St. Louis Cardinal player would make an error or mess up in a game, Dad, being a Cardinals fanatic would get pissed and be like, “AHHHHHHH, WHAT A DOUCHEBAG!!!!!!” Heck, if there were evenings where I didn’t know the outcome of the Cardinals game, I would ask Dad how it went and if he replied with, “the Cardinals are a bunch of douchebags,” this would basically be his way of telling me that they lost.
There was a time when my dad, angrily called a burly looking semi driver a douchebag to his face. I’ll never forget it. I was 7 years old and I was riding with him in his dinky little red Ford truck to watch him play in a softball tournament in Stockport, IA. Some big, burly looking, overgrown “Burt Reynolds-esque” mustache guy driving a green semi, pulled in front of us on an interchange and almost ran us completely off the road. We almost got in a wreck, I think.
Dad was instantly pissed. He pounded his fists on the steering wheel like a rabid, crazed chimpanzee that just got his dick shocked by an electric fence while reaching for a banana on a tree located on the other side of the fence. I think Dad was trying to swear, but he was so pissed that all that could come out of his mouth were grunts, growls and rasps which were cunningly similar to those of the Tazmanian Devil from Looney Tunes.
Many people are intimidated by truck drivers, especially big, burly looking ones who appear fierce enough that the only thing capable of stopping them is the Syphilis they picked up from a lot-lizard. This particular truck driver fit that description. However, Dad isn’t intimidated by these guys at all. In fact, he isn’t scared of anyone or anything, especially when his blood is boiling.
Dad didn’t hesitate to catch up to this truck driver and drive right next to him in his tiny red truck for a few seconds. Dad was staring at the driver and when the driver looked back at him, Dad didn’t say anything. Dad gave him the Papa Swaff stare-down, which can be pretty freaking intimidating. With these stare-downs, Dad has the ability to relay the message with his facial expressions that he considers them to be the epitome of scum. With the stare-down he bestowed upon this semi-driver, it appeared that with his eyes, he was telling this guy, “you greasy douchebag. You are nothing to me, but a dirty, shit-stained tampon that has sunk to the bottom of a rural Kentucky carnival porta-potty.” After staring him down for a few seconds, Dad passed him.
A minute or so had passed and things were silent in the truck. Dad was boiling with rage still, but he was momentarily keeping it inside. I think we both thought this encounter with the truck driver had concluded with the Papa Swaff stare-down.
We were wrong.
This truck driver evidently took offense to Dad’s stare-down, facial expression-assault, for he drove his truck right next to us, looked at Dad and gave him the finger, plain as day. This sent Dad over the edge. He totally flipped his lid at this point and began lashing at this guy with an array of “F-words” and “douchebags.” He rolled the window down and with steam flooding out of his ears, screamed at this guy at a record-setting octave, “fuck you douchebag! Don’t you DARE mess with me after you almost forced my truck off the road when I have my son with me, douche! I’m gonna cut you and your douchebag semi off the road, you greasy douchebag low-life douche!!!!”
And he did cut him off….with his tiny little red Ford truck. He stepped on the gas pedal and made a sharp cut in front of the guy, all while screaming, “how you like that, douchebag!?!?!” I caught a glimpse of this driver’s face while this went down. As he was giving Dad the finger, underneath his slightly over-grown mustache, I could detect a smirk. However, when he saw Dad’s reaction, his expression changed from a smirk to surprised and a bit scared.
Dad sped about 100-200 yards in front of this semi-driver before promptly pulling his truck over to the side of the road. I sat there wondering what he was doing, for it was clear that if that truck driver walked anywhere near us, Dad was going to kick his ass. Nothing seemed wrong with our truck to where we should have been pulled over.
The thought, “am I going to see my dad scrap?” crossed my mind. I had heard stories of how tough he was when he actually did get into physical altercations when he was younger. He evidently had lightning speed and deceptive strength and was too bull-headed and stubborn to give up after the fight had begun.
However, a fight did not take place, for there happened to be a weathered down, unmaintained road conveniently located between us and the truck driver who was roughly 100 yards behind us. The driver turned onto this road. This was a road that a semi had no business being on. I assume this guy turned on the road to avoid the crazy man in the little red truck with a matching red face. Dad had punked him out…and although I’ve never really talked to him about this (which makes me wonder if he even remembers it), I think he knew he won this road-rage induced exchange.
When the truck driver turned on the unmaintained road, Dad sat there and stared into his rear-view mirror with a Clint Eastwood-esque expression on his face and said calmly, “that’s what I thought, douchebag.”
When Dad becomes extremely pissed off, sometimes he is only capable of blurting out words of a very small selection and one of them ends up being used profusely. It’s like he has so many thoughts going through his head that there is an over-load, and only one word can make it’s way out of his mouth. In this case, “douchebag” was the main word that he was able to verbalize.
It was this encounter with the truck driver that made me think to myself, “hmm…douchebag. I like that word. It’s got a nice ring to it. I think I’m going to start calling people douchebags as one of my comebacks.” So I did…a lot. Evidently, I was too dumb to make the connection between Dad being pissed off to the point where his veins were popping out of his head and the word, “douchebag” being screamed roughly 25 times in a matter of a few minutes. This should have been a huge indicator to me that douchebag = bad word. Douche = bad word.
Sometimes Dad would refer to my brother and I as douches or douchebags, but we had to have done something really douche-tastic for him to call us that. When it comes to name-calling, Dad seems to have a basic hierarchy of “d” words that he will refer to you as, with each one being a pre-requisite for the next one. The higher on the pyramid/hierarchy the “D word,” the more anger or disgust is associated with it. Here is a visual:
The “d word” at the bottom of the pyramid is the least serious one. This word is “dingleberry.” If Dad calls you a dingleberry, chances are, he is joking and/or being playful with you. For example: If I told my dad a story about how I did something at school that he actually thought was funny, he would respond by saying, “you are such a dingleberry.” Being called a “dingleberry” by my dad was usually always a good thing. It was his way of saying, “haha, you are silly, son.”
This is hilarious to me now because as a youngster, I had no clue what a dingleberry was. For those of you who don’t know, a dingleberry is a piece of poop stuck to a butt hair. The thought that being referred to by my dad as a piece of poop stuck to a butt hair was a GOOD thing is hilarious to me.
The step on the pyramid located directly above “dingleberry,” would be “dipstick.” Dad would refer to my brother and I as “dipsticks” if we did something that mildly annoyed him. For example, back in the day, say I was in the car with Dad and he told me to find his George Thorogood cassette tape and put it in his tape-player. If I were to accidentally insert the cassette tape on the side that didn’t have the song, “Bad to the Bone,” my dad would say, “hey dipstick! You put it in on the wrong side! I want to hear ‘Bad to the Bone!!!” Then he would proceed to sing, “Buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-baaaaad. Buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-baaaad.” If Dad was proud of himself about one thing, it was his cunning ability to successfully recite the part from that song where George Thorogood stutters while singing the word, “bad.” Buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-baaaaad!!!!! To be honest, Dad WAS and probably still IS really good at nailing that part. In fact, I think he’s better than George Thorogood…no joke.
My brother Justin pretty much exclusively stayed in dingleberry and dipstick territory. However, I always seemed to loiter in the step above “dipstick” which was the territory of “dumbass.”
It got to the point where whenever I’d hear the word, “dumbass,” my ears would perk up and I’d look around, thinking to myself, “did someone just say my name?” I did a lot of dumb shit in my day and was reminded of my dumbassery whenever I did something dumb, by being called a dumbass by my dad. When Dad uses that word, it usually means that his feelings towards the person in question at the moment are moderately negative. It basically meant that your stupidity was making him irritable.
Dumbass territory was my territory. I owned it. I had it marked. I had my share of dingleberry and dipstick moments, but I was a “regular” in “Dumbass-ville. “
Every once in a while I’d find myself straying away from “Dumbass-ville” and climbing to the top of the pyramid, which was the home of the most serious of Dad’s “D words.” This was the “douchebag” step. Sometimes…I was douche-tastic enough for Dad to call me a douche and/or douchebag. Whenever I was called a douchebag, I usually always deserved it, no doubt about it. It usually occurred when my stupidity reached Lloyd Christmas levels.
For example, I received my driver’s license the day I turned 16 years old. I kept my license for a whopping 30 days before I lost it. You know why? Because I was pulled over and ticketed by a cop, who also happened to be my neighbor, for driving 101 miles per hour in a 55 zone. This was on the straight away leading to the turnoff to my house in the country. This straight away also led to my neighbor-cop’s house and he clocked me at 101 MPH immediately after pulling out of his his driveway when his supper break was over.
To make things worse and even more stupid, this was in January and the road had a moderate amount of ice on it, which made driving 101 MPH in a 55 MPH zone even more dangerous than it already was.
My neighbor-cop escorted me home and explained to my dad what had happened. He spoke to him for 5 minutes, while I stood there shaking silently on the verge of tears as I watched my dad struggle to maintain his composure during the conversation due to being so furious with me.
When the cop left, I received an epic ass-chewing. In this ass-chewing, I was called a dumbass and a douchebag and probably a dumbass-douchebag as well. And considering the irresponsibility and stupidity of it all, I most definitely deserved it. It was stuff like this that led me to “Douchebag-ville” on occasion.
On the flippity-flip, my brother aka the family hero aka the great and powerful golden boy aka the almighty aka the sweet and innocent Justin once got pulled over and I believe ticketed because he passed a cop. I think Dad only called him a dip-stick for that.
If Dad ever personally calls you a douchebag or describes someone else as being a douchebag, chances are, you or the person he described pissed him off to the point where he is in a state of utter disgust with you. If St. Louis Cardinal, Matt Holliday, grounds into a double play with 1 out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th inning to end the game when the Cardinals were only trailing by one run, he is officially douchebag-eligible and the chances that my dad will actually call him that is close to 99.9%.
Ironically, every once in a while he uses the term, “douchebag” in light-hearted fashion. For example: If you tell him a story about how you did something admittedly stupid that didn’t result in extreme negative repercussions, he may look at you, shake his head, smile and say one of two things: 1.) You are such a dumbass or 2.) You are such a douchebag.
My dad, although he has a difficult time admitting this, is one of my blog’s most loyal readers. I have posted entries that allegedly made him laugh so hard and strenuously that he had a difficult time breathing for 5 minutes. It’s a guilty pleasure for him. I think this blog is a guilty pleasure for many people…for people are much more likely to tell me in person that they regularly read and laugh their asses off to my blog, then they are to hit the public “like” button when the entries are posted on facebook. I’m not lying when I say that I can’t go out for a night without having at least 7-15 people throughout the night approach me and talk to me about my blog…always new people who I had no idea had ever visited the site.
Dad reads every entry that I post and usually, he likes them. However, I never know that he has read the entry until a few days, sometimes a few weeks after it being posted. With this entry, my dad may talk to me in a few days and randomly say, “so Joshua… I’m a pretty tough guy and can be pretty intimidating, eh?” I’ll reply, “I don’t know….umm…. yeah??” He will reply playfully with, “you are such a douchebag.” That is how it has gone with past entries.
So if my dad calls you a douchebag, it doesn’t ALWAYS mean he is momentarily disgusted with your existence.
But it’s pretty likely that he is in fact, disgusted with you.
So for those of you still reading, have you ever found out you were wrong about lyrics to a song you had heard many times for years? If so, share your story in the comments!!!